Every Dollar Makes a Difference

Guest Post by Lexi Sweet, Komen Columbus Communications Intern

It’s no secret that college students often have little spending money and very little free time built into their schedules. However, that should not stop anyone from helping to raise money for a good cause, such as breast cancer research. So, for today’s post I’ve compiled a list of a few creative ways that college students can help raise money.

DANCE PARTY: College students love to dance, as is evident by dance parties held all across campuses each weekend. Dancing is used as a way to unwind and hang out with friends after a stressful week. Why not use dancing to raise money for a good cause? Pick a favorite bar or other hot spot on campus (try to make sure it’s 18+ to maximize participation), charge a small cover, ask some DJ’s to donate their services for the evening, and enjoy! Ohio University student and local DJ Alexander Mouch said his friends and he came up with their idea for a breast cancer benefit event because they were all DJs and wanted to showcase their skills.

“Us, all being the broke college students that we are, felt like the best way to help out was to simply host a dance party and have all the proceeds go to charity.” He continues, saying, “All of us have been affected in some way by breast cancer, and this gave us the opportunity to help out in the only way that we knew how; through a medium that we are all passionate about: Music.”

TOURNAMENT: By nature most college students are competitive, whether it be in the classroom for grades or on the court for a big win. If there is another way where someone can prove his/her dominance, there is likely a high chance of participation. To raise money, pick a fun game, whether it is on the Wii or perhaps a classic board game, have people sign up in a bracket form and pay a small entry fee, then have a fun, healthy competition. To get more participants, ask for t-shirts to be donated or given at a reduced price and offer that to participants. Take March Madness, for example. It has just arrived and already I’ve received four invites to join different bracket challenges, so pick something as popular and easy as this, put together your own bracket challenge, and donate the money to charity!

5K: Exercise is one of the most common stress relievers for college students, so why not combine that with doing a good deed? Set up a one-mile event or a 5k, charge $20-$25 per participant, and try to include a t-shirt and food (which could be donated from local restaurants or area supermarkets) and after expenses donate the rest of the money to charity. Consider holding the event during a popular weekend at school. For example, the University Programming Council of Ohio University holds its big 5k for breast cancer awareness during Mom’s Weekend, the second most popular weekend of the year at OU. OU junior Abby Popovich says that the Mom’s Walk for a Cure is her favorite thing to do on Mom’s Weekend, and her mom has already started asking if she has signed them up, even though it is only winter quarter!

FOOD: There is almost nothing a college student loves more than food, especially food they don’t have to make themselves! My advice would be to take advantage of this by holding a bake sale outside of your student union or selling after-hours food (grilled cheese, hot dogs, etc.) on a popular street for nightlife. Kelly Caris, an OU junior, says, “I’m always hungry when I come home late at night, but I’m generally too tired to cook anything, so when I walk past the courthouse (where after-hours food is often sold in Athens) and see people selling food, it is hard to resist.”

Remember, any donation is a good donation, and every dollar can make a difference. Everyone likes to feel like they’re doing good deeds, and even poor, busy college students can help! Use one of these ideas and start fundraising on your campus today.